BlackBerry CFO Steve Rai confirmed reports in the Canadian press stating the fallen handset giant had sold several patents covering mobile technology to Huawei as part of ongoing measures to dispose of assets related to defunct business lines.

The executive’s comments came at a JP Morgan investor conference yesterday (12 January), where he revealed the deal involved a “very small number of patents that are no longer relevant to the business”.

Rai was responding to a question on press reports in Canadian daily newspaper The Globe and Mail claiming BlackBerry had sold 90 pieces of intellectual property to Huawei, covering what the publication described as “significant advancements” in smartphone technology.

The transfer of the rights has apparently already been registered with US patent authorities.

Having quit the handset business in 2016 following a spectacular fall from grace, BlackBerry shifted focus to the enterprise, IoT and security software sectors. Its mobile phone brand was initially licensed to TCL Communication and has subsequently been taken on by start-up OnwardMobility.